Change the world

InnoVenton and The Downstream Chemicals Technology Station


Hope Baloyi

  Current study: PhD

  Project: Investigation of the thermo-chemical behaviour of coal-algae agglomerates

  Promoter: Fomer Prof Ben Zeelie, Currently Dr Gary Dugmore

  Student’s qualifications:

  MSc Engineering Sciences (Chemical) (2012, Northwest University)

  BSc Hons (Biochemistry) (2009, University of Venda)

  BSc (Biochemistry & Microbiology) (2007, University of Venda)

  Research interests: Biofuels, Biomass liquefaction, coal gasification


  2012: Electronic poster presentation at the South African Institution for Chemical Engineers (SAIChE) conference, Central Drakensberg, KwaZulu-Natal.

  2011: Oral presentation of the master’s research project at the 2nd Renewable Energy   symposium,   Sustainability Institute, Stellenbosch.

  Work experience: Research Intern, DST-NRF (Host Institution North-West University, Potchefstroom), July - December 2012, Current - Research Associate 2016 and 2017.

  Other interests: Reading scientific journals; Watching news & Talk shows: Listening to talk radio shows and travelling.

Kirstin Burger

Current study: PhD

Project: Evaluation of acetals as possible plasticizers for infant plastic products

Promoter: Prof Paul Watts, Co Promoter: Dr Nicole Vorster

Student’s qualifications:

MSc: Chemistry (2013)

BSc Honours: Chemistry (2011)

BSc: Chemistry and Biochemistry (2010)

Research interest: Cosmetic and personal care formulations, nutritional product development, pharmaceuticals and new product development.

Other interests: Reading, travelling, sketching, arts and crafts, squash. 



Vitus Ejesieme

Current study: PhD: Chemistry

Project: An investigation of the combustion kinetics of coal/microalgae composite

Promoter: Former Prof Ben Zeelie, Current Dr Gary Dugmore

Student’s qualifications:

MSc: Chemistry, NMMU (2013)

BSc Hons Formulation Science, NMMU (2011)

SAIM Postgraduate Cert Business Management, UNISA (2010)

BSc: Honours Industrial Chemistry, Imo State University (IMSU) (2000)

Research interest: Combustion and Fuel Chemistry, Coal-Biomass Co-firing, Petroleum Chemistry, Product and Process Optimization, Polymer and Material, Agro-chemistry, Entrepreneurship.

Work experience:

  • Educator,  Department of Education, Eastern Cape (2008 - 2010)
  • Quality Assurance Chemist, Animal Care Laboratory (2004 - 2007)
  • Quality Control Chemist, Sanders Laboratory ( 2001 - 2003)
  • Educator, Department of Education Ekiti state (2000)

Other interests: Swimming, music, travelling, tennis and reading.

Sibongiseni Gaqa

Current study: PhD

Project: The recovery, benefication and agglomeration of discard coal using microalgae biomass

Promoter: Former Prof Ben Zeelie, Current Prof Paul Watts

Student’s qualifications:

MSc (Chemistry) (2014, University of Fort Hare)

BSc Hons (Chemistry) (2012, University of Fort Hare)

BSc (Chemistry and Biochemistry) (2009, University of Fort Hare)

Short courses: Environment and Development (2013, Wageningen University)

Research interests: Development of Green Technologies; and Renewable and Sustainable Energy


57th South African Institute of Physics conferenceJuly 2012, University of Pretoria, South Africa (Poster presentation)

1st National Global Change conference, November 2012, Birchwood hotel in Boksburg, Johannesburg, South Africa, (Poster presentation)

58th South African Institute of Physics conference, July 2013, University of Pretoria, South Africa, (Poster presentation)


International Journal of Energy and Environment (IJEE), S Gaqa, S Mamphweli, D Katwire and E Meyer. Synergistic evaluation of biomass / coal blends for the purpose of co-gasification

Journal of Sustainable Bioenergy Systems (JSBS), S. Gaqa, S. Mamphweli, D. Katwire and E. Meyer. The properties and suitability of various biomass / coal blends for co-gasification in a downdraft biomass gasifier

Work experience:

Research Associate at InnoVenton: 2017

Research Intern, DST-NRF (Host Institution: Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, InnoVenton ), May 2013 - April 2014

National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) Volunteer (Host Institution: University of Fort Hare, Fort Hare School of Science and Technology Discovery Centre), Feb 2011 - March 2012

Physical Sciences and Maths Educator, Ntshilini Senior Secondary School, Ngqeleni, April  - December 2010

Other interests: Travelling, watching movies and listening to music






Nokuthula Ethel Magida

Current study: PhD

Project: Green House Gas emission reduction through the co-firing of coal and microalgae biomass: An experimental evaluation

Promoter: Former Prof Ben Zeelie, Current Dr Gary Dugmore

Student’s qualifications:

MSc Engineering Sciences (Chemical) (2013, Northwest University)

BSc Hons (Biochemistry) (2011, University of Fort Hare)

BSc (Biochemistry & Microbiology) (2010, University of Fort Hare)

Research interests: Biodiesel and Bioethanol production; Development of technologies for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Conferences: 2012: Oral presentation at the South African Institution for Chemical Engineers (SAIChE) conference, Central Drakensberg, KwaZulu-Natal.

Work experience: Tutorship in Biochemistry (University of Fort Hare - 2010).

Other interests: Attending conferences, reading scientific journals, watching television, listening to music.

Bothwell Nyoni

Current study: PhD

Project:Pilot plant scale pyrolysis of coal-algae composites

Promoter:Former Prof Ben Zeelie, Current Co-Promoter Dr Shaka Shabangu

Student’s qualifications: MEng Chemical Engineering, 2012, North West University, Potchefstroom, RSA

BEng (Hons) Chemical Engineering, 2007, NUST, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

Research interests: Energy, Industrial Chemistry, Water treatment technologies


MPRA. A. Phiri, B. Nyoni. (2014) The electricity-growth nexus in South Africa: Evidence from asymmetric co-integration and co-feature analysis

Studies in Business and Economics. A. Phiri, B. Nyoni. (2016) Re-Visting The Electricity-Growth Nexus In South Africa.

Modern Applied Science. D. Dube, C.T. Parekh, B. Nyoni. (2016) Removal of Chromium and Nickel from Electroplating Wastewater using Magnetite Particulate Adsorbent: (1) Effect of pH, Contact Time and Dosage, (2) Adsorption Isotherms and Kinetics

Work experience

Lecturer (2013 – 2015), Department of Applied Chemistry, NUST, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

Chemistry Teacher (2012 – 2013), Matopo High School, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

Engineer in Training (2008 – 2009), Hwange Colliery Co. Ltd, Hwange, Zimbabwe

Other interests:Volleyball, Sports